Hypericum perforatum use during pregnancy and pregnancy outcome

Reprod Toxicol. 2015 Dec;58:234-7. doi: 10.1016/j.reprotox.2015.10.003. Epub 2015 Nov 1.


Hypericum perforatum (HP; also known as St. John's Wort) is one of the most commonly used herbal therapies in the management of depressive illness. The aim of this study was to evaluate the potential side effects of HP during pregnancy on pregnancy outcome. Using data from the Danish National Birth Cohort (DNBC), we investigated outcomes among 38 HP exposed pregnancies compared to a group of 90,128 women. Associations between HP use and gestational age, preterm birth, birth weight, malformations and Apgar scores were investigated. Preterm birth did not differ across the groups. While the prevalence of malformations in the HP exposed group was slightly higher (8.1%) than observed in the control groups (3.3%; p=0.13), this was based on only three cases and was not of any specific pattern.

Keywords: Birth outcomes; Human pregnancy; Hypericum perforatun; Malformations; St. John’s Wort.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Abnormalities, Drug-Induced / epidemiology
  • Abnormalities, Drug-Induced / etiology
  • Adult
  • Antidepressive Agents / adverse effects*
  • Antidepressive Agents / isolation & purification
  • Databases, Factual
  • Denmark / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypericum / adverse effects*
  • Hypericum / chemistry
  • Phytotherapy
  • Plant Extracts / adverse effects*
  • Plant Extracts / isolation & purification
  • Plants, Medicinal
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / chemically induced*
  • Pregnancy Complications / diagnosis
  • Pregnancy Complications / epidemiology
  • Premature Birth / chemically induced
  • Premature Birth / epidemiology
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires


  • Antidepressive Agents
  • Plant Extracts